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Beyond Measure | Life Coaching
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life coach, executive coach, professional coaching, business coach, personal coaching
life coach, executive coach, professional coaching, business coach, personal coaching

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In 2003 when I was being accredited in coaching I met a wonderful man named Charles Sherno who frequently used the line “we’re human beings, not human doings”. As a blues lover I appreciated the double entendre, but more importantly I was introduced to a foundation stone for the way I see our engagement with our working life. It has influenced so many of the dialogues I have had since then. 

It’s been my experience in life that we over-value the doing at the expense of our being. Look at the content of your cv – lots about what you’ve done, very little about who you are. And yet when you’ve been in your new role for 6 months or so the thing people all around you in the business will find most noteworthy is how you are. 

What does it mean, Being vs Doing? Rather than to lay out a rigid definition I find it easiest to talk about with a series of word pairs on a continuum. The continuum also helps deal with In 2003 when I was being accredited in coaching I met a wonderful man named Charles Sherno who frequently used the line “we’re human beings, not human doings”. As a blues lover I appreciated the double entendre, but more importantly I was introduced to a foundation stone for the way I see our engagement with our working life. It has influenced so many of the dialogues I have had since then. 

It’s been my experience in life that we over-value the doing at the expense of our being. Look at the content of your cv – lots about what you’ve done, very little about who you are. And yet when you’ve been in your new role for 6 months or so the thing people all around you in the business will find most noteworthy is how you are. 

What does it mean, Being vs Doing? Rather than to lay out a rigid definition I find it easiest to talk about with a series of word pairs on a continuum. The continuum also helps deal with the fact that we don’t live exclusively at one end or the other, we choose our own blend. Here’s a pair to get us started. 

Connected--------------Separate

This is a pair that challenges us to think about how we all relate to each other and our world. Are we all individual and lonely beings in a lonely universe? Or are we all connected in ways that are hard to fathom and which require a leap of faith to accept? Some of this can be understood by considering which physicists do you belive – the quantum guys or the Newtonians – and the way their view of the facts allows us to live. But it’s not about just about the physics, although this is a part of understanding how connectedness works. A world of being is a world of connectedness, a world that enhances our being. A world of separateness relies on doing. It just seems to miss the point. 

Leading--------------Managing

Here’s another view of being and doing. When we are leading we are clearly tapping into our own being and that of all those around us, whilst managing is about getting things done. Managing is important but in terms of your influence on the business, leading clearly trumps it. This is more so the case as we rise through the organisation and our contribution influences more and more people. What approach will you take to dealing with what confronts you? Will you pursue a coaching solution that has its foundation in leadership, or will you simply manage someone through the task. Think about those alternatives for a moment from the perspective of the person with to whom you’re assigning some work. In the leading scenario they are likely to have been empowered, been given autonomy and the opportunity to develop their own mastery, (thanks Daniel Pink for those labels) rather than having to execute a set of rigid instructions. This creates a far stronger sense of engagement, with its attendant benefits in performance.

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